Caedmon's Hymn (Peter Bird)
- (Posted 2005-10-25) CPDL #10010:
- Editor: Peter Bird (submitted 2005-10-25).
- Score information: Letter, 10 pages, 186 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes: Sung first in Anglo-Saxon (pronunciation guide provided), then in Latin, and finally in Modern English.
Title: Caedmon's Hymn
Composer: Peter Bird
First published: 2005
Description: The text of this hymn was recorded by the Venerable Bede. The melody of Cædmon’s famous hymn has been lost; however, the rhythms (triple time) are recorded in three 8th- and 9th-century manuscripts of Bede's Historia. This hymn is a perfect gem of hymnody and follows the rules exactly: verse, verse, refrain, verse, close. There is no evidence that this Hymn was ever previously sung in Latin. In this setting, the message and the musical theme are preserved through many changes of form as the language and the musical style gradually progress from those of the early Middle Ages to those of the English Baroque.
Original text and translations
Old English text
Nü scolun herigean heofonrices Weard,
Nunc laudemus Praeses regni caelestis,
Now we should praise the Guardian of heaven's kingdom,